Rubik’s Cube Interpretation Part 3

This is the last in this series titled “Rubik’s Cube Interpretation.”  There will be more written on scripture interpretation as the months and years pass.  It is vital that the premise behind this series is remembered.  One can’t pull apart sentences, verses and phrases in the Scriptures to prove a point.  Proper interpretation must be done in context of the passage and also in light of what is stated through the entire Bible. In this writing attention will be drawn to how the women’s role is viewed in the Church of Christ denomination.

In the hard core Church of Christ women must remain silent.  When the church meets the women are to have no public role, except in the teaching of children and unbaptized members.  This is based upon two passages (1 Timothy 2:12; 1 Corinthians 14:34).  Because there are plenty of longer, well written thesis, papers and books on this topic, this writing will be kept brief enough to prove the current point on interpretation.

The Corinthian passage contains an important issue with the Greek (the original language of the New Testament).  The word for woman and wife is the same word.  The interpreter is to use the context to choose what is proper.

The women are to remain silent it says in 14:34, yet in 11:5 it gives instructions on what a woman is to do when she prays and prophesies when men and women are present.  Oh wait, correction, in chapter 11 it is most often translated wife, not woman.  Even though this is the same context and discussion all the way through chapter 14.

Paul, who was writing Corinthians, was addressing a trouble issue with three groups of people, namely, the tongue speakers, the prophets and the wives.  They were out of control.  This section of scripture is about order and not about putting ALL women EVERYWHERE in a non-speaking place.

Oddly, if it were about all women, where does this leave the single women OR the wives who do not have a believing husband?  In order to be obedient to verse 35 I personally heard one Church of Christ woman who did not have a believing husband, say she would have to choose another Christian man, who was the husband of another wife. That is outrageous.  One can learn through the context that this in no way is a blanket statement that all women, everywhere must never have a speaking role in the assembly.

1 Timothy does not concern the public assembly.  Paul was surrounded by women who were teachers of men and held deacon positions (Acts 18:26; Philippians 4:2-3).  So, once again, taking other passages into consideration and not pulling this Timothy phrase out to make a blanket statement for all places through all times, it is clear that women teaching the gospel in a man’s presence is not forbidden.

Specifically this passage is referring to women who are ignorant and have nothing to teach and likely to teach error, as Eve did to Adam.  In ignorance she fell to temptation.  This can be gleaned from the context of this passage.

One can plainly see that these two passages can be easily misapplied and misused and they are and have been.  In the hard core Church of Christ there can be no woman standing in front leading singing and worship.  Also in the hard core and many Churches of Christ there can be no woman giving the announcements standing in the front.  In Churches of Christ we will allow the women to pass the communion emblems sitting down in their seat from side to side but not serving them from front to back.  In the Churches of Christ a woman can make an instructional comment in an adult auditorium class setting while sitting in her seat but she is not allowed to make the same instructional comment from the front of the class.

What kind of messed up interpretation is this?  When passages are taken out of context what will soon follow is many contortions and stretching to enforce that interpretation.  It always leads to adding rules and laws that do not exist which is never a good thing.

Be Free

Rubik’s Cube Interpretation Part 2

In brief review the first article in this series concerned the old Rubik’s Cube in that there was a right way to solve it and a wrong way to solve it.  The wrong way was to take it completely apart and piece by piece put it back together so that it looked solved.

The issue with Rubik’s Cube Interpretation concerns the Church of Christ pulling sentences, phrases and verses through out the Scriptures to prove their various points.  However, the result is not a lot of wrong interpretations, a faulty way of looking at the Bible and a very bad theology.

The first example of faulty interpretation concerned instrumental music.  The second example, among MANY that can be provided, is a Pelagian Theology.  This theology can be summed up by saying we are all born sinless, perfect and it is later that we sin.  It is from this state that when we are presented with the Gospel of Jesus we can choose God or reject God which ever we want.  To paraphrase his thoughts is to say he felt that we need no Divine aid to respond to Jesus.

When encountering a hard core Church of Christ individual one of the first responses to the depravity of man is that we are NOT born in the sinful nature of Adam.  They will dance all around Psalm 51:5 making every effort to teach that this does not mean man is born sinful from birth.  But one can’t dance around a very large number of passages in the Bible that teach exact fact that because of Adam’s sin we are born sinful and fully deserving the wrath of God.

These passages include: Genesis 8:21; Job 15:14-16; Ezekiel 16 (which is a parable on this principle); Psalm 14:3; Psalm 58:3; Matthew 11:25-27; John 3:19; John 5:21; John 6:44, 65; Romans 3:10 and following; Romans 5:12-21; Ephesians 2: 1 and following; 2 Timothy 2:26 combined with Luke 11:21-22. These are just a few passages.

Because of the Church of Christ belief that water baptism is the exact point one become a Christian it is then that the hard core Church of Christ primary concern is what about babies.  If we are born in sin and a baby dies, then they will go to hell.  They also feel that this gives credibility to infant baptism.  So to defend their view on baptism, they will go out of their way to teach that the Bible does NOT say something that it clearly states.  THIS IS PULLING TEXTS, PHRASES, PASSAGES AND VERSES OUT OF CONTEXT TO PROVE THEIR POINT.  One can’t honestly read Romans 5:12-21 and then teach that the sin of Adam had NO effect upon humanity.

No one can come to the Son unless the Father draws him. (John 6:44).  The ill effects of the fall of Adam means that spiritually I am dead.  There needs to be Divine aid imparted to me, which is grace, for me to respond to Him. This is one of the most beautiful parts of God’s love towards His children, the redeemed.  The hard core Church of Christ simply denies this reality.

There will be one more article on Rubik’s Cube Interpretation.  Even though many more could be written, I think the ideological foundation has been properly set.  We will spend more time in other articles reviewing Baptism.  There are several resources on this site which explain about the New Birth.


Rubik’s Cube Interpretation

Sometime in the 1980’s decade the Rubik’s Cube became incredibly popular.  As a Jr. High school student I eventually got one and quickly went to scrambling the colors and then trying to solve the puzzle.

There were endless hours of working on this cube make every effort to getting every side exactly perfect.  It would take a genius to solve the puzzle without instruction or help.  I was no genius.  I was smart enough to get one side a perfect solid color but that was no big deal.  There were countless thousands of others who could accomplish that task.

Before a friend of mine shared his book with him, I had a way of tricking everyone into thinking I had solved the puzzle.  I would pull a corner piece off and then proceed to take every other part of the puzzle apart till all the pieces of the puzzle were off.  Then carefully find the proper colors and piece it all back together.

Obviously that is one way to solve the Rubik’s Cube, but that is not the proper way to solve it.  It was later that I learned the proper way to twist and turn and line up the cubes until it was perfectly uniform.

The hard core Church of Christ practices what I call “Rubik’s Cube Interpretation.”  This type of interpretation will tear thoughts, sentences of phrases out of context to justify a position.  To better define this let me give some examples.  In this post I will provide one example and then later posts will provide more.

One of the most identifying marks of the Church of Christ is their non-use of musical instruments.  They justify the lack of example in the New Testament for their use and go further to use Colossians 3:16 and Ephesians 5:19 as strictly forbidding them.  Some will take it a step further and say that this also excludes, humming, hand clapping or anything that does NOT come for literal singing a lyric.

This is pulling a sentence and phrase out of context. Neither of these two passages concern a “worship service”.  Worship service, would be a foreign phrase among these Chrstiains. Paul, who through the Holy Spirit wrote BOTH passages, was talking about how to conduct the Christian day to day life. These passages have NOTHING to do with what type of music is permitted during the assembling of the saints.

There is a lie that needs to be addressed concerning the silence in the Bible in regards to instrumental music.  One does not need to go to the Psalms but rather can remain in the New Testament to show that instrumental music is proper in praising God.

The book of Revelation gives us a peek into heaven.  It is interesting to note that 5:8, 14:2-3 & 15:2 are all examples of how God is praised and in each of them singing and harps are involved.  This is NOT figurative, but rather literal instruments used in praising God.

So one can see that God accepted and approved instruments in praising Him throughout the Bible.  With the sure to come argument that there is lack of evidence to support instrumental music I would counter with there was NO evidence that dancing before the Lord was an acceptable praise to Him.  Yet David did it (2 Samuel 6:14) and it was approved.

As more examples are presented of this “Rubik’s Cube Interpretation” it will be more clear and evident of the thought being presented here.  One can NOT pull a phrase, sentence or verse out of context to prove their point.  It is cheating and not the proper way to interpret Scripture.

Be Free